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Finally: What a Chemical Fire Apparatus is/was revealed

About: When a Dalmatian was de facto Mayor of The Sprangs and Columbia's 'Chemical Fire Apparatus'

By "Jim"
Revelation of Eureka moment from online delvinations of indefatigable researcher

More information has surfaced about the Columbia chemical fire truck, 1921

After a considerable amount of headscratching about exactly what constituted a "chemical fire apparatus," a great revelation occurred -- search engines are my friends. A few minutes' searching provided the answer: a chemical reaction -- and hence the name -- provided the pressure required to move the water from the tanks through the hose and to the blaze.



The following succinct explanation comes from the Spring Grove (IL) Fire Protection District website:
The chemical truck did not have a pump, but rather functioned much like a gigantic soda ash fire extinguisher. Acid, mixed with an alkaline water, would generate carbon dioxide (CO2), creating pressure within the tank that would be used to pressurize the hose. Once the water was expelled, the truck would need to be refilled and the process repeated. By today's standards it was inefficient; similar fire extinguishers are no longer in use.

Unfortunately, I've had considerably less luck finding a photograph of a unit similar to the one purchased by Columbia in 1921. Jim
But "Jim," posits another headpuzzler which may cause many of the curious to remain sleepless in Columbia for some time: "Does anyone know if this were the fire truck replaced near the end of (or perhaps shortly after) World War II?"


This story was posted on 2010-11-29 10:00:45
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